church money

10 Ways to Increase Offerings 10-25%

Orginally published on Friday, April 22, 2005 at 6:00 AM
by Todd Rhoades

Our friend Brian Kluth offers ten different ways to help your church increase their offerings and become better stewards. This article was recently featured at ChurchCentral.com. Here are the main points? you can read Brian’s insight and words of wisdom on each point by viewing the full article here…

#1 - Personal giving testimonies

#2 - Outside teaching resources that will teach Christians to manage their finances

#3 - Annual financial or whole life stewardship sermon series

#4 - Designated giving

#5 - Money-back guarantee

#6 - All-church tithing Sunday

#7 - Pre-offering Bible verse, comments and offertory prayer by a church leader

#8 - Effective use of your church's giving records

#9 - Outside stewardship speaker

#10 - Start a Christian financial counseling ministry

Brian writes, "I have seen churches that have used just three or four of these ideas increase their giving 10 percent to 25 percent or more."


Brian Kluth is a national and international speaker and writer on Biblical generosity and financial matters. He is also a church pastor and the founder of MAXIMUM Generosity, a public ministry dedicated to advancing Biblical generosity through inspirational preaching, leadership training seminars, writing, resources and the media. Brian?s written materials have been distributed to more than 350,000 Christian leaders in more than 100 countries. For additional materials or to contact Brian, email: or visit: www.kluth.org.

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 TRACKBACKS: (0) There are 22 Comments:

  • Posted by

    Forget Warren - it’s all about God…

    It’s all about money!

    this list forgot making sure that the congregation feels that their money isn’t being wasted (great taste, less filling).

    I’m a single mom supporting 3 teenagers, one of which is not my own.  Taking in the child of a woman who was homeless at the time (now in rehab and headed to jail after that), receiving no help from the state or his family - that more than makes up for what I might be tithing.

    This boy is now in a church for the first time in his life and is doing quite well, thank you.  Money is very tight and getting tighter.  I *AM* the widow that the church is supposed to be helping - I have not asked.  But I’m on the battleground, getting this teen to God - this is a ministry all on its own.

    I don’t tithe.  10% of what I bring in?  I don’t think so.  My home is open 24/7 and I’ve asked God to send me kids that need to be here; one of them stayed. It is not uncommon for me to have 5 or six teenagers at my house overnight on weekends.

    10% is not God’s - it’s all God’s.

  • Posted by Pastor Al

    Every once in a while I will tell my congregation to reach forward and take their neighbors wallet and then give like they always wanted too!  (of course I do this jokingly, but we usually get a good offering as a result!)

  • Posted by bernie dehler

    Good comments, Ellen.  You’re a good example of being the “salt of the earth” as our Lord taught. You are in full-time ministry, without a doubt!

    I think Churches need to practice better stewardship.  Show what they are doing with the money.  Seems like most want to keep what they do with the money private.  Why not have clear programs, objectives, mention the cost, give feedback, etc.?  Seems to me like most think of giving as a form of “begging.” It would be cool if Pastors would disclose all their churches finances like nonprofits have to in a 990 tax form.  Most likely, church members would find out how LOW their Pastors are paid, and want to pay them more.  Big churches may have a real problem, though…

    Here’s an example of a tax form disclosure, for a great role-model ministry, NW Medical Teams.  They are a Christian ministry with excellent accountability/stewardship:

    These tax forms are public info, by law.


  • Posted by


    You’re doing more ministry than all of the tithes that pastors spend on their cars, swimming pools and “parsonages.”

    God bless you!

  • Posted by

    It would seem to me that Ellen represents exactly those whom the Church should be helping without them having to feel like they must ask.

    The Early Church took care of their own well before they spent a dime on those outside of the church.  Today, however, every “church” has a “mission budget,” which usually means little more than a pastoral slush fund that is spent (i.e., wasted) on his TV and radio programs.

    Disgusting use of what is not theirs.

  • Posted by Phil in CA

    Pastors, I have four requests for you on this matter:

    #1) Whatever you do, please repent of the guilt-based ploys for more offereings.  These are especially common (and, sadly, effective) among stewardship ministries and their .  It usually goes something like this “Of COURSE you can give a little more! Besides, God gave His only Son, so how could you hold back?” That just shows that even the truth (taht God gave His Son) can lay the foundation for powerful manipulation.

    #2) Please, quit quoting/applying Matt 6:3 ("do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing") as justification for squeezing your flock.  The ploy usually goes something like, “Give beyond what you think you can, because Jesus said not to ‘let your left hand know what your right hand is doing’!” This false application ignores that the very next verse explains why Jesus said this: “so that your giving may be in secret.” Matthew 6:3 has nothing to do with the AMOUNT one gives, and it certainly does not endorse financial irresponsibility—not matter how well meaning.

    #3) Quit teaching that “giving to the LORD” can only mean givng to the local church coffer.  Matthew 6 begins, “When you give to the needy...” That says, “needy”, which can mean giving through the church, but not always.  Jesus recognized direct-to-the-needy giving, and so should you.

    #4) Quit using the word “tithe” in application to NT Church-era financial obligations.  The tithe was an obligation under the (abolished) Temple-Law system, not the New Testament Church, and you durn’d well know it.

  • Posted by

    Articles like the above are sickening because I can’t see Jesus using any of the above gimmicks (i.e., schemes) in teaching His disciples or the crowds.

    If Paul were alive today, he’d blow a gasket.

  • Posted by J. R. Miller

    Here is my favorite one, “#5 - Money-back guarantee”. I am fairly certain that this is the way God wants us to approach the practice of our faith.  I suggest folks try this for their alter calls as well. “Come and accept Jesus, and if in 90 days you are not completely satisfied, we will give you back your soul.”

    I may try it this week!

  • Posted by

    Its so sad to hear people say pastors use ploys to get people to give.  Giving is a grace.  It is a privilage!  It is a joy!  When I consider how much God has given to me........the tithe is the least I can do.  Do you not realize that if every member of the christian church would just obey the biblical teaching on tithing, that compalining woman......who is not a tither herself.....would be helped without having to ask.  Does her pastor even know she is in need?

    As to a pastor’s car......your statement is from Hell!  If my pastor is feeding me the word of God purely and undefiled and I am growing he can live in a mansion and own a jet and have a limo.  He deserves it!!  In a day when our president can have troops murdered for oil and take 100 billion dollars to fight a war that we should not be in anyway.....when taxes are taken and not given and we have no choice in the matter........I consider the promise of God one that will not disappoint me...."Give and it shall be given unto you.....pressed down, shaken together shall MEN give into your bosom.” Be real or stop calling yourselves christians.  Obey it all or start serving the devil and admit you are his follower.  Stop whining and use a little more faith.  God will supply!
    God will open the windows of Heaven!
    God will use others to bless you!
    God will make a way out of no way!
    Bit it’s according to your faith!!!!!!!!!

  • Posted by

    Uh...I wasn’t complaining, I was trying to get across a New Covenant point (I’m under the New Covenant, not the Old) that each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion (an arbitrary 10%)

    The other point is that I said I don’t tithe.  I never said I didn’t give.  There’s a very big difference.

  • Posted by

    Thou shalt not kill.......thats in the old testament......you gonna ignore that too

    They that wait upon thr Lord shall renew their strength.......thats in the old testament...you gonna ignore that too

    The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want....thats in the old testament

    I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curse thee......thats in the old testament.......you gonna ignore that too.  Damn woman....who is your pastor?  You need a new one or you need to be born again.  This is not a Fresh Choice religion where you pic what you like and leave the rest.  The BIBLE is one book.....its all or nothing.  I tell you this out of love and experience.  Free your mind and the rest will follow.  Obey and be blessed.  Trust and obey for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus.

  • Posted by

    killing is condemned in the New Testament also.  (Romans 13:9 - as part of the Ten Commandments) - by the way, do you keep the Sabbath?  Worship on the seventh day?

    So is being strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10)

    So is sufficiency in the Lord (2 Cor 3:5)

    1) don’t “damn” me.
    2) don’t judge my salvation
    3) don’t presume to know whether or not I’m trusting and obeying.  You have no clue what I have or haven’t trusted God with.


  • Posted by Phil in CA

    Hey, um, “Guy"… your attacks are completely uncalled for and uncharitable.  Be respectful or go somewhere else.

    MzEllen: Ignore the troll.  You don’t have to attend every fight you’re invited to wink

  • Posted by

    You Know I just wished that leadership would spend the amount of time and literature to disciple the Body of Christ as they do trying to figure out ways to pull a dollar out of someones pocket.

    If the leadership of the church would return to truly knowing Christ and lead their congregations to a personal relationship with the Lord and teach them how to enter into God’s Most Holy presence we wouldn’t need special gimmicks to induce people to give.

    The problem is that we don’t want to spend the time or the effort needed to seek God and would rather go to the internet to find our next sermon than to seek God’s heart and receive a direct word from God for those under our care.  How shamefully said is our current condition. It makes me weep.

  • Posted by

    Guy said:

    “Giving is a grace. It is a privilage! It is a joy!”

    Let me define Guy’s terms for all:

    “Grace” = the pastor’s personal attention.  The greater the gift, the greater the attention.

    “Privilege” = the life that the pastor gets to live at the giver’s expense.

    “Joy” = what the pastor feels when the bottom line looks healthier.

  • Posted by Phil in CA

    Ricky, did it ever occur to you that there are many pastors who are just honest, hard-working, doing-their-best-in-a-thankless-job sort of guys?  While the pastorate today certainly has it’s problems, it’s completely unjust (read: sin) for you to speak of the whole lot of them as being out for excessive pay, attention, etc.  The Bible speaks just as strongly against bearing “false witness” as it does against greed. Meditate on Prov. 6:16-19 for a while.

    There is nothing unbiblical about a full-time pastor who diligently works the fields of souls reading a living from it.  Consider 1 Tim. 5:17-18 “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,’ and, “The laborer deserves his wages’.”

    Two things…
    First, note the special elevation of “preaching and teaching.” It’s hard work, through tons of material, and to be quite honest, not everyone is gifted enough (memory, intellect, communication skills, spiritual development, etc.) to do it.
    Second, note the “For the Scripture says...” opening verse 18.  The “for” there is “for” justifying, explaining and supporting (from Scripture) the previous statement.  The previous statement was that those engaged in “preaching and teaching” were WORTHY of “double honor”.  Given the financial context (context is critical here), the term “double honor” is in reference to financial support for their services.  This is supported by Paul’s statements in 1 Cor 9 that a living wage was, in fact, a right.  When Paul didn’t take a wage, he was supported by other churches.  He spoke of this as “robbing” those churches.  The Corinthians should have been mature and hospitable enough to pay him for his labors.

    Pastoral salaray is a deeper issue, but one which inevitably comes up when discussing money and the church.  The bottom line is that Scripture establishes the basic precept that one who is in full-time ministry is “worth” a wage—one he can live on.  Of course, there are always those tightwads who feel a pastor shouldn’t be paid squat for putting in 60-or-so hours a week, but that arguement holds no Biblical support.

    The Barna Group does the best research on stuff like this.  Here’s a bunch of numbers, by denomination, theology, etc… http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdate&BarnaUpdateID=85

  • Posted by


    I appreciate your words and I know I’m not speaking of the vast majority of those who serve as “pastors.” My beef, and those whom I am addressing know I’m talking about them, is with those so-called “leaders” who walk as if they’re above everyone else, those of whom Jesus said would receive their only reward: recognition...by those whom they’re trying to impress.

    I, too, serve in the role of a “pastor,” though I don’t like the title, and know first hand the love and care of the precious souls who have given freely to support my family and I, which is why I am very careful to guard those who give out of love and criticize those who take advantage of them.

    Again, I hear you and I appreciate your words but at the same time, don’t wrongly think that I’m referring to everyone but only those who are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

    If you would read most of my posts that I make here on this blog, you’ll find that I have great love and admiration for those, like yourself, Ellen, et al, who are in the minority in your opinions.  My impatience is with the so-called “leaders” who seem more interested in building their fifedoms than the kingdom of God.

  • Posted by Pastor Al

    For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? … (14) So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
    1 Corinthians 9:8-14 (NASB)

  • Posted by

    Pastor Al, Nobody is saying that the men that toil in the Word should not be paid a decent wage (whatever that may be) and even receive double honor.

    But I’m in a larger church and I know all of the other “stuff” that “has to” happen aside from the pastor’s salary.

    Question:  does a man who humbly serves God need two homes and a speed boat?  How about a Lexus?  What do these status symbols say about where their status lies?

    Speaking of the way we tithe - for those who do gardens, are you also expected to turn over the first fruits of that?  How many do?

    My father in law was a pastor in a small church and he walked humbly and deserved every penny he was paid.  His “perks” came from the hand to hand pocket of the congregation - deep discounts on cars, golf club memberships, cash gifts.  These came from the hearts, not from compulsary percentage.

    Then again, read Deut. 14:22-26 and tell us who was supposed to eat the tithe and who was responsible for the way it was spent? (hint - the people were supposed to take their tithe and eat the first fruits so that they would learn to revere the Lord.  Every *third* year, the tithe was given to the Levites, who distributed among the aliens, orphans and widows - so that *they* could eat the tithe.

    And the passage in Malachi - God was talking to the Levites - *THEY* were the ones who were stealing the tithe! 

    How can the pastors of today

    (1) condemn their congregation to live under the law, knowing that accepting one part of it places them under the whole of it and

    (2) accuse them of stealing from God - using the Malachi passage - when that passage is accusing priests of abusing the tithes that the people had already paid?

    It would seem to me that the Malachi passage would more reasonably be pointed at today’s pastors to make very, very sure that they are using the congregations money in a way that is very, very pleasing to God.

  • Posted by Pastor Al

    Hello Ellen,

    You mentioned two examples, one the “rich pastor” and one the “poor pastor.” It seems those are the extremes.  I believe the truth for what is right is in the middle.  A “pastor” should be paid in a manner where he can not just survive in this world, but is equipped to plan for his future, purchase those items he and his family needs and even sometimes wants.  The congregation who employs a pastor has an obligation to pay them a wage where they can live in a “middle class” neighborhood and still afford the items one needs to effectively pastor in these days.  i.e. A car the runs and is nice enough to be able to drive a member of his congregation to lunch without endangering them.  A home where they can live comfortably, and which allows them to entertain.  A financial package that pays enough for health insurance for both himself and his family.  And enough where he can save or invest as he sees fit. 

    If a congregation wants their pastor to concentrate on the ministry, then they need to free him financially from the stress of knowing where his next paycheck is coming.

    So, while you are right that a Pastor should not guilt his people into giving, by using the Law.  Neither should the congregation guilt their pastor into a financial package that means he needs to take handouts from the people just to get by.  Mutual respect and Love in this matter should be the goal sought by all.

    Finally, you mentioned a Pastor Using the funds of the Congregation “rightly.” If a church has a good budget that can prevent anyone, Pastor, Elder, Deacon, Sunday school Teacher and the like from “misusing” any funds.  Further is one member of the church is abusing the stewardship of the church then they should be confronted.  But if you are saying that a Pastor who receives an income from the church, cannot use those funds according to his conscience, then I would ask you if you allow your employer to monitor what you spend your income on?

  • Posted by

    I said “decent wage” and “double honor” - did you not catch that?  For you to imply that guilting pastors into accepting less than that is okay misleading.

    When I mentioned my father in law, I made sure to mention it was in a small town.  We averaged under 60 on Sunday mornings, yet my father in law lived in a 4 bedroom home (and yes, the house was set up for entertaining) they had a nice car and put a kid through college and have a good health package.  In this small village (1500) golf was an extravagance, yet Dad managed to golf at courses all over the county - this was by the goodness of the congregation - outside of his salary, so that he *could* more easily plan for the future.

    I didn’t say that I thought pastors’ spending of their salaries should be monitored - for you to imply that is also very misleading on your part.  This thread is not about how pastors spend their personal money, was it?  The thread was “How to increase offerings” which is *VERY* different thing.

    Most of the churches that I’ve been in, the pastor has been the driving force behind the spending - the verses in Malachi clearly are speaking to the priestly class and spending the money of the people rightly.

    My point behind the Malachi verses is that they are aimed at the clergy, not at the people - to aim them at the laity is not the intended purpose.  There is a clear warning to the *PRIESTS* that abusing the money of the people is stealing from God, not that the people are stealing from God.

  • Posted by Pastor Al


    Relax, I am just having a conversation here.  I am not trying to read into anything you have wrote.  In fact I agree with much of it. 

    Maybe my personal story might help you understand my point.

    I am leaving church this next month, who cannot support myself and my family without themselves going into financial ruin.  It isn’t that they don’t want to, it is that they can’t.  Upon seeing this for nearly a year, I began to seek the Holy Spirit on what to do.  Should I find, another job and bi-vocationally pastor – after much prayer I realized that this would be unfair to my small three children and wife - the time issue.  So, I went to my board, they did not come to me, and I shared with them that the HS was asking me to step down, for the financial wellbeing of the church – that they can hire a younger minister then me at about half the salary and still have resources to reach out to the community.  I did this without a firm job to move into, but I believed by following God’s will he would care for me.  Just this week I have at least three job offers presented that I am reviewing.

    A parishioner said to me, “why don’t you ask for more money?” I said, “because these people give as much as they can and I would not feel right in my conscience to do so.” I have made it a pattern of mine in my last 4 ministries never to know who gives what, so I could preach on the subject of giving as God directed me to.  I have never used gimmicks or guilt to increase any income at the church.  I have always believed that Holy Spirit directed Christians would give as God laid it on their heart to give, and so I trust him and them to be obedient to his Spirit.

    I am sharing my story as a point of reality.  Those of us, like you, who are listening to the Holy Spirit and following his direction for you life, cannot sit by and ask “why does he get the fancy car and I have to struggle or leave my church?” Our job is to be faithful to the one who calls us, and let him work out the details of our lives as he directs.  I for one am very happy with this situation and trust the scriptures that say “I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread.”

    Blessings on you,

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